It is 0-0, again for Emami East Bengal. Rajasthan United FC was solid in defense and effective in attack. The defining moment of the game came in the 62nd minute. Rajasthan United thought it pocketed the game when it won a penalty. But Kamaljit held his cool to pull off a brilliant save to deny Barboza Jr. RUFC had a raft of chances late into the game, but it couldn’t breach Kamaljit’s goal. EEB’s search for the first goal continues, while RUFC will walk into its next fixture with its chests puffed up after having taken four points off two games with the Kolkata giants.
Martin Chavez has been influential to RUFC’s intensity in the last few minutes of this games. His delivery from set pieces has caused trouble to East Bengal’s defense. Gyamar Niku almost steals it for RUFC again. Martin sets him up with a cushioned pass inside the box. But his shot glanced off the post. SO CLOSE!!! RUFC wins two late corners. But Kamaljit and EEB holds on to prevent a late scare.
Eliandro and Tuhin links well down the left. But Tuhin runs out of space and he can’t keep the ball in. He is down on the floor with what looks like cramps.
Rajasthan United players are outlasting its ISL opponents. Now, all it takes is one mistake to swing this game. Melroy makes an all-important interception to prevent a tap in for Sumeet Passi. Gyamar, the scorer of the winner against ATK. is introduced.
East Bengal’s desperation to get its first goal of the tournament hasn’t shone through. Meanwhile, RUFC peppers East Bengal’s goal mouth with crosses from both sides. But, EEB wins a corner down right thanks to Aniket. Mobashir’s delivery is dealt with by RUFC defenders.
The balance of the game has shifted to Rajasthan’s corner. With no Suhair, EEB has struggled to maintain possession up front. Aniket’s presence on the ball has also dwindled.
Rakip tries to release Eliandro, but he is marginally offside. This game is begging for a moment of inspiration from someone.
Raghav is impeded by Mobashir and RUFC has a freekick opportunity. Martin Chavez has a go. Misses the left upright by inches. Kamaljit wasn’t in a comfortable position.
Eliandro had a golden opportunity to set Passi through on goal. But clear lack of communication there as EEB can’t capitalise on Niraj’s error. Fans are going restless as East Bengal is on the verge of going goalless for the second game running.
Suhair is taken off. Seems like a protective move. But this takes away the sharpest tool from the armor of EEB.
Suhair with a magical touch from a long hopeful ball. But Melroy came out of nowhere to stop him from shooting at goal. These too has been going at each other from minute one.
SAVEEE!!!! Barboza Jr. with the penalty. An absolutely tame effort from him. Kamaljit dove to his left to save it. Game-defining moment there from the EEB keeper. He waited and waited for the striker to pick his side and then dove at the perfect time. And to better the save, he actually held on to the ball. DOMINANT Save from KAMALJIT.
PENALTYYYY!!!!. Remsanga wins a penalty from a foul by Souvik
Barboza pleads and argues for a corner for his side and the referee relents. But the delivery was poor from the I-League side. Barboza almost sneaks in a cut back for Remsanga, but Rakip was aware of the situation and clears it away. Alex Lima gets a yellow card for dissent.
Jerry’s freekick doesn’t bypass the wall. His second attempt is off target too. Aniket gets past Jagdeep with ease. But his cross from the byline is too much for any of the forwards to nudge it in. Better decision making from the winger and EEB would have been one goal up.
Passo’s cross from the right forces RUFC to concede a corner. Lima takes it, but RUFC defenders clear it away. Suhair wins a freekick, close to the right-hand corner of the box. Shooting opportunity for EEB.
Aniket Jadhav has been the brightest spark for Stephen Constantine’s side. He has been direct and purposeful. Youseff turns and almost drives into the box, but Gonzalez was on hand to see off the danger.
Rakip is forced into action down the right wing. He is pinned in but succeeds in preventing the danger.
And we are back after the break. One change for East Bengal. Gonzalez comes in for Kyriacou.
Emami East Bengal’s superiority is evident again. But it is not a distinction that has reflected on the scoreboard, yet. Rajasthan United FC will be happy, but it would love to create a few chance on its own and pocket another famous win.
RUFC sees off the three minutes added on with ease. Suhair had a chance to shoot following a piercing run by Aniket Jadhav. But the forward’s first touch was disappointing. And it is half-time.
East Bengal tries to stitch together a few moves down the left. The crosses were either too weak or the finishing touch a tad too poor.
Rajasthan gets a lucky break and steals a corner. Barboza swings it in. Kamaljit’s punch was weak but the rebounded shot was straight to him. RUFC inserting itself into the game with intensity.
RUFC has been more or less reactive in this game. But in the larger scheme of things, it wouldn’t mind if the game drifts this way into a draw. Tuhin drills in a flat cross for Suhair, who evades Melroy. But it is too difficult an angle for the forward. Goes wide.
Marked improvement in EEB’s game style, as it is controlling the game with conviction today. The only thing missing is the finishing touch. Constantine would be hoping that happens sooner than later.
Alex Lima too leaves the field. Melroy is having to use all his tricks to stay alive against the wily Suhair. Good news for EEB fans as Lima strides back into the field.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY. Suhair steals the ball in the right wing and he sets up Ankit, who feeds Amarjit, whose shot skims the top of the crossbar. Should have buried that. Suhair soon unleashes a shot with his left foot. But Niraj was quick with his dive to fend that away.
Ankit Mukerjee is down and seems like he has hurt his hamstring. He is subbed off and in comes Rakip.
VP Suhair is the lynchpin of this East Bengal side. Inevitably, he is the one driving his side forward with his pace and intent. His physicality is an added bonus that piles on the pressure for opposing defenders.
RUFC finally makes a substantial foray into enemy territory. It wins a freekick down the left. But Melroy’s header is wide off the post. Positive signs for the I-League side though.
This has been a far more direct and positive start from EEB in comparison to the last game. Suhair squeezes in a cross from the left. But Sumeet Passi couldn’t get his body position right to head it in. Solid chance for the skipper. Suhair gets a chance to go through on goal, but Melroy pulls in a last ditch tackle to save his keeper.
RUFC getting pinned in by EEB attackers. Aniket with a delicious cross from the right win, but no attacker could get a touch. EEB wins three corners back to back. The pressure is mounting.
Jerry sends in a deep cross from the left. But RUFC keeper Niraj collects with confidence. EEB gaining momentum. Suhair’s turn to win a freekick. This time down the right wing. Lima’s delivery is not good enough.
Aniket draws a foul after a very direct run into the Rajasthan box. A good opportunity from a set piece. Jerry’s delivery strikes the wall. He gets a second chance from the rebound. But that too disappoints. No shot at goal from either side so far.
Constantine wouldn’t mind this slow start as it enables his side to settle in well with possession.
Scratchy start from both sides. Rhythm has been a scarce commodity so far. But, EEB has had the lion’s share of the possession so far.
Two teams of very different stature face off today at Kolkata. On one hand we have 16-time Durand Cup champions, Emami East Bengal, while on the other we have tournament debutants, I-league side Rajasthan United FC. But football is a great leveller. Ask ATK Mohun Bagan if you doubt it.
Stephen Constantine rings in a few changes to his side. Alex Lima and Tuhin Das walks into the starting 11 after impressing from the bench against Indian Navy.
Rajasthan United has made just one change to its staring 11, with Barboza Jr coming in for Alister.
LINEUPS ARE OUT!!!
Emami East Bengal and Rajasthan United FC will come into its Durand Cup fixture at Kishore Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on Thursday with contrasting emotions.
DURAND CUP: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
While the Stephen Constantine and his men come into the game after being forced to a frustrating draw by the Indian Navy FT, Rajasthan United FC pulled off an incredible 3-2 win over ATK Mohun Bagan in its opening fixture.
If the I-League side wins today, it will leapfrog Mumbai City to the top of Group B.
All you need to know about Emami East Bengal vs Rajasthan United FC
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